The game lasted almost exactly three hours. Tom Brady, the superstar of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, should remember the moments after the game in Munich in particular. While almost the entire stadium chanted "Sweet Caroline," Brady ran toward the players' tunnel, waving. It was a triumph for both the quarterback legend and the NFL.
"It was one of the best football experiences I've ever had. And that's supposed to mean something with a 23-year career," Brady said at the press conference. The superstar of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers appeared a few minutes after the end of the game in a blue tracksuit and in a good mood in one of the media rooms in the Munich Arena.
"I've played twice at Wembley Stadium, once at Aztec Stadium in Mexico City, it was nowhere better than here. The stadium was already full during the warm-up. When they started singing the songs at the end, it felt really special," Brady enthused after his team's 21-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks. “It was a great atmosphere, it felt electric. I hope the German fans got what they wanted.” Sure, Brady is a media professional, but his admiration for the Munich audience seemed genuine.
The quarterback, who also won his fourth NFL game outside the United States, seemed visibly happy with his trip to Germany. The 45-year-old had thrown 22 of his 29 passes for 258 yards to teammates, including two touchdown passes.
"It feels like a missed opportunity. Coming out here, to this beautiful setting, all the prep and everything the game could have been, was hype," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the game, praising, "The fans were exceptional, and all of it this trip was great. You would have really appreciated the chance to win a game here.”
Julio Jones, who scored the first touchdown on German soil in the second quarter (“I hadn't even thought about that”), also appreciated the intense atmosphere in the stadium. "I love it. The energy was impressive. There were 69,811 viewers, right? I like the way they sang," said the Buccaneers wide receiver, responding when asked if he would be back: "Absolutely."
After its first league game in Germany, the NFL should feel confirmed in its intention to expand its commitment overseas. While the players delivered an entertaining game down on the pitch, the fans in front of the stadium and in the stands celebrated for around three hours.
When asked, he left open whether Brady would come to Germany again. The game in Munich was of course his first reason to come back from retirement in the summer, the superstar joked and then said: "We'll see what the future brings. Let’s leave it at the great experience today.”
Brady also remained silent about the gift that he wanted to bring his daughter from Munich. "I will certainly not reveal that here," he replied to a question from a US journalist. "That's supposed to be a surprise."
For Tampa Bay's linebacker Devin White, who twice knocked down Seattle's quarterback Geno Smith, the game was a special one. His father had died three days earlier. "It was tough because there were a lot of emotions involved. But at the end of the day, I had to do my job here,” White explained. "It was difficult alone in the hotel room, but my teammates supported me on the field."
Brady explicitly emphasized how important the win was for the Buccaneers: "It's a big win for our team, we needed it. It feels good, but we still have a long way to go," said the quarterback in view of so far five losses of the season. "I don't know if we have alcohol on the plane. i don't drink much But it will be a few beers.”
He will have fun watching his teammates celebrate. Then he smiled, thanked them for their hospitality and quickly disappeared from the lectern. The NFL will come back. At least to Frankfurt next year.